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Criminal Tax Fraud in the First Degree: NY Tax Law 1806

Tax fraud is a serious offense that can lead to devastating consequences. Criminal tax fraud in the first degree in New York can lead to long prison sentences and hefty fines. The IRS is serious about collecting tax, and efforts to thwart the system are taken seriously. If you have been charged with this crime, you will need the services of a skilled and knowledgeable attorney who can fight for you.

Criminal tax fraud in the first degree is one of the most serious charges you can face. Not only will you be facing prison sentences of up to twenty-five years, you will be subject to loss of professional licenses, loss of immigration status and monetary fines. You may have to face a tax auditor, a tax enforcement agent or the District Attorney’s office. Because criminal tax fraud in the first degree is considered a “B” felony, there are mandatory minimum sentences for anyone convicted of the crime. If this is your first offense, you would be facing between one to three years and prison or eight to twenty-five years.

If this is not your first offense and you have been convicted of another felony within the past 10 years, you would face between four and a half years or twelve and a half to twenty-five years in prison.

It is helpful to understand what actions the law consider criminal tax fraud. Tax fraud is defined by the following actions:

-Failing to submit a tax return
-Filing a tax return that has misrepresentations and false information
-Failing to pay tax to the State of New York
-Creating schemes that are intended to deprive the state of tax revenue

The law is not limited to these tax fraud acts, but there are generally considered the most common tax fraud acts punishable by law.

Understanding How Degrees Are Computed

Many people mistakenly believe that because they steal small amounts of tax revenue from the state over a period of time, they are guilty of only the lesser offenses. The criminal statute, however, allows the court to add up the total value of the theft and charge you with the degree that corresponds to the total dollar value of the fraud. So if you failed to report $5,000 in taxes over the course of 10 years, you could be charged with failing to report $50,000, which carries with it longer sentences are harsher punishments than the initial $5,000.

In addition to facing the criminal tax fraud charge, you can also face charges related to the fraud. These include presenting a false instrument for filing, falsifying business records, forgery and federal tax fraud. It is common for the District Attorney to charge you with multiple felonies when submitting your case to the Grand Jury. These are all serious charges that carry with them long prison terms. There are high rates of conviction for tax crimes in New York.

There have been famous cases featured in the news of celebrities convicted of tax fraud and receiving long sentences. Tax fraud is usually associated with an ongoing effort to defraud the state, and prosecutors often work diligently to prove that there were other felonies associated with the fraud. Some defendants are charged with federal tax crimes and often have to serve federal prison terms after completing their state terms.

Other Forms of Tax Fraud

Receiving government benefits that you are not entitled to is also a form of tax fraud. Because these programs are earmarked for low-income New Yorkers, you are effectively stealing tax money if you receive these benefits illegally. While it seems like a minor crime to get a few extra dollars in food stamps or welfare, the law takes this crime seriously. The IRS, Justice Department, State Attorney General’s Office and the District Attorney will not hesitate to use every resource at their disposal to investigate and prosecute you.

What to Do if You Have Been Charged With Tax Fraud

If you have been charged with tax fraud, understand that you will need adequate representation immediately. You may have already received calls or visit from IRS investigators or law enforcment officers. Gather all the documentation you have and contact your attorney. Keep any business cards from any agent who visits and save the phone numbers of any who call. Remember that the IRS may send representatives to your home or workplace, so be prepared by having an attorney on your side who can advocate for you.

In order to convict you of the fraud, the IRS has to build and make a case against you. Your attorney can fight to defend you against the charges and help keep you out of prison. In some cases, tax fraud charges can be reduced or even dismissed, depending on the circumstances of the case against you. Don’t delay, call your attorney today.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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